Predicting Mets Success Through Rose Colored Glases

To every baseball fan, no matter what team they root for, four simple words are a clarion call; “pitcher’s and catcher’s report.” We’ve waited for longer than we care to remember through biting cold and winter storm after winter storm, but it’s finally here. The annual pilgrimages to Florida and Arizona are underway, and, so, too, another baseball season.

Spring training is a magical time when baseball fans recapture their little kid dreams and reconnect with the charm of the ‘grand old game.’ It’s a time of optimism, new beginnings, and fresh starts, a signal of a soon to arrive spring and our first hope of summer.

Spring training turns every baseball fan into a seer, staring into their crystal ball to predict how well their team will perform once the real season begins. Some see only the pessimist’s side of that proverbial half-filled glass. Everything they say or do is somehow the end of the world. For other fans, if you have hope you have everything. That’s sometimes even more true for Met fans. I for one feel there is little danger of developing eyestrain by looking at the bring side of things.

There has not been too much optimism reviewing early projections from baseball sages regarding the prospects of the 2014 edition of Mets. I’ve read several preseason analyses that almost read as mirror images of last seasons spring training scrutiny of the Boys From Flushing. Most baseball experts have the Mets third or fourth in the NL East with no more wins and often a few less victories than the 2013 Mets.

That’s why I loved ESPN’s Mark Simon’s buoyant, upbeat piece on the Mets. Simon framed his column around an unusual basic premise, “If you make the assumption that everything turns out right for the New York Mets, what’s the best case scenario for the Amazins?”

Bad things can be good if you look on the bright side. Simon took the 74-88 win/loss record (bad) of last season’s Mets and flip-flopped the number to 88-74 (good) for his best case scenario for the upcoming season. Next, Simon applied the science of baseball’s advanced statistics to his premise that finds the Mets reaching such lofty levels. Met players would need to combine for about 36 wins above replacement. Finally, Simon added meat to his story line by detailing how that 36 WAR mark might be attained.

Check out his basic premises.

1. David Wright plays like an MVP and stays healthy.

It makes sense that real Met improvement of this sort could not occur without a huge year from the Mets best offensive player. That’s especially the case, when the Met roster as it’s constructed is not expected to be an offensive steamroller. In fact, according to Simon when this year’s Mets step in the batter’s box it could get painful to watch. Low batting averages and high strike out rates will be the norm. That means the Mets MUST GET MVP-LIKE PRODUCTION out of their best hitter, David Wright. Simon’s game plan calls for 7-WAR production from the Met third baseman.

2. Bounce Back Years

Simon’s hopeful blueprint is dependent on at least three Mets having bounce back seasons in 2014. In fact, Simon feels bounce back performances are prerequisites for even a .500 season. The improved performance must come from a group that includes Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, Curtis Granderson, and Chris Young. Although Simon is open to any combination of WAR production that equals Wright’s 7, here’s how he projects it might happen.

In 2012, Ruben Tejada was a 2.0 WAR shortstop. Simon’s bounce back has Tejada putting together a 1.5 WAR season in 2014, something that seems possible. From 2005 to 2012 Curtis Granderson averaged an impressive 4.3 WAR. Simon’s plan sees Granderson coming in with a 3.0 WAR this summer. Simon’s lofty projections are also dependent on a solid season from Chris Young. Young was a 5-WAR in 2010 and 2011. To reach Simon’s best case possibility, half his previous WAR output would do the trick with Young at 2.5. No WAR value was given to either Davis or Duda in Simon’s example.

3. Zack Wheeler Finds His Groove

Much of Simon’s rosy possibilities involve the Met pitching staff, especially the starting rotation. First and foremost, comes Zack Wheeler. Simon cites his ESPN colleague Buster Olney’s choice of Wheeler one of baseball’s linchpin players for 2014.

Wheeler showed promise in his big league debut, but was hampered by command issues. According to Simon four respectable projection systems foretell a 2014 season for Wheeler with an ERA between 3.50 and 4.12. Those aren’t the numbers of a pitching staff linchpin or WAR horse. But, as Simon, points out, Wheeler’s projections are remarkably close to those assigned by the projection systems last spring to Matt Harvey. Simon’s reasons if Wheeler can give just 80 percent of Harvey’s 2013 output, that will add a very needed 4-WAR this season.

4. Rafael Montero – Rookie of the Year Candidate

All indications point to the Mets giving Rafael Montero a shot to be in the rotation at some point in the year. Simon’s Met win/loss flip-flop would like to see Montero’s name in the rotation sooner rather than later. Simon is impressed with Montero’s minor league stats and in the best of all worlds has the Met rookie throwing 150 big league innings, compiling 12 wins and a 3.00 ERA. Those types of numbers would mean a 3.0-WAR rating for the young Met pitcher.

5. Bullpen Comes Together

It’s difficult for any team to win 85+ games without an effective bullpen. That includes the Mets. Met fans are enticed with the idea of a Met pen loaded with young Met power arms. So, too, is Simon. His best case scenario finds a healthy and productive closer in Bobby Parnell, an improving 8th inning set-up man in Vic Black, solid supporting roles for Carlos Torres and Kyle Farnsworth and mix and match contributions from the rest of the pen.

Simon is not saying these projections and his 88-74 Met win/loss possibility is his prediction of how the Mets will do in 2014. He simply understands going into spring training every team is enveloped in hope and has a best case scenario. Should everything come up smelling roses, Simon’s piece outlines what it might look like for the New York Mets. Simon ends his piece asking Met fans whether they buy his best-case-possibility and the piece includes a poll to this query: How many games can the Mets hope to win this season?

85 or more – You gotta believe!
81 or more
Between 75 and 80
Between 70 and 75
Fewer than 70 – You gotta bereave!

Where would you place the 2014 Mets?

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About John Bernhardt 156 Articles
MMO Minor League Analyst John Bernhardt is a retired public school teacher and administrator, who still coaches high school baseball. Growing up in a Yankees household, Bernhardt was an ardent Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra fan. When the Yankees fired Yogi in his first season as the Bomber manager, curiosity turned to passion when the Mets signed Berra as a player/coach and he has pulled for the Mets ever since. In retirement, John writes the sports for a local weekly, The Catskill Mountain News and hosts Tip-Off, a Friday morning sports hour, from 8:00-9:00 on WIOX, 91.3 F.M.
  • elsid1986

    70-75, with a shot at slightly better if they get any production out of first base.

  • Jake Jones

    The mets will surprise people this year .

  • metsaholic

    Really? Surprise people, maybe yes. Give the finger to the fans? Why would they do that?

  • elsid1986

    Reno betting line has them at 71.5. It was 74.5 last two years and 77 the year before that. They are usually spot on when it comes to the Mets.

  • AJF

    I cannot wait for Met baseball to begin just stinks knowing that excitement will be over by June either way I will be watching all year like I do all the time

  • Jake Jones

    Because many fans dont give them a chance

  • Jack

    Great article. I do view this season as the perfect transition year to 2015 and onward where we should be truely competitive when Harvey is back and the young guys develop this year. Things look better for the Mets in ’15 than ’14 but ’14 could be a winning season with a potential wild card spot!

  • Jack

    I honestly do think we can try and compete for the 2nd wild card spot this season. Next season I see us trying to win the division. It’s not as crazy as it sounds because of our terrific pitching we have and we can use the other pitchers as valuable trade pieces to keep on improving the hitting.

  • metsfaninparadise

    No apostrophes in “pitchers and catchers.”

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Uh oh. Optimism!

    Quick MMO commenters, kill it! KILL IT!

  • Jake Jones

    I agree jack. Im a realistic fan. I dont think we will be contenders but i do feel we can win 82-86 games. people forget we had a lot of injuries to key guys last year. also we only had a little bit of wheeler and travis darnaud

  • metsaholic

    And this is the fans fault? The Mets have been terrible for the last 5 years. Their attendance is down almost 2 million. They’ve lost 50% in attendance. The economy is just recovering. Most people have only so much in their entertainment budget. For most Mets fans, they would happily spend it on at least a .500 team that gave them hope and something to watch. It’s the privilege of the fans to pass judgement and the burden of the team to earn the approval of the fans. Give them the finger? Really? They should thank god for everyone of them.

  • Jake Jones

    LOL

  • Jake Jones

    Not all fans just the bad ones

  • Jack

    We got Syndergaard and d’Arnaud for Dickey and we could have gotten a similar package for Niese so we can get a lot for our pitching even though extra pitching depth doesn’t hurt. Just an added note: I think Syndergaard and d’Arnaud will be a fantastic battery because in Syndergaard’s scouting report he uses his tall and powerful body to throw low in the zone to get strikeouts and ground balls. d’Arnaud is almost perfect at framing pitches, especially low pitches so Syndergaard will throw a little low out of the zone and get called strikes with it. If d’Arnaud pans out which I think he will if he stays healthy, having this 25 year old catcher grow with the young pitchers we have (I am dreaming of a rotation consisted of Harvey, Syndergaard, Wheeler, Mejia, and Montero in the same rotation if they all reach their ceilings)

  • metsaholic

    No…a couple of drunks in the stands or excessive bloggers don’t rate the finger. It’s been part of the game in one form or another for over 100 years. The players play for the love of the game, the money, the fame and the adulation of the fans. And most professional players would tell you that if they don’t play well, the fans have every right to say so. Fans are not family. Fans don’t have to love them, no matter what.

  • Jake Jones

    Dude i was being sarcastic when is said it. Juts relax and take a midol.

  • metsaholic

    You can walk it back now. I understand. But you were not being sarcastic. You put yourself in the position of a player who was being petulant and feeling put upon because some fans have little faith in good expectations for the team. It’s okay. You’re a fan. Hope to see you at the ballpark. I’ll be the one giving the finger on the next error. I’ll also be the one cheering my lungs out on the next grand slam. It’s what some fans do.

  • Jake Jones

    Its called jokng around. Also it was kind of fun egtting under your skin so i played it up like i meant it

  • metsaholic

    Yes, I can see you were joking to get under my skin. If saying that makes you feel better, I understand.

  • Jake Jones

    ok cool but you took it all seriously for some reason

  • metsaholic

    You got defensive for good reason. You said something absurd. I pointed it out. You feel embarrassed. Don’t be. We’ve all said things we realize and regret at some point. Like you said, it’s cool. Lets Go Mets!

  • Nolrog

    If everything goes right, and I mean everything, then I think we could finish around .500. But the next time we see everything go right, will be the first time.

  • MyasDaddy

    Definitely are. That really scares me.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Sandy SUCKS!

    Cubs sign Bonifacio to a minor league deal we sign OMAR QUINTANILLA to compete with Ruben Tejada o_O this is pathetic…

    Yes. Cubs sign Emilio Bonifacio to minor league deal, per source RT @ChiefsOrioles: @ESPNChiCubs https://t.co/H2j7MQvP9y Any truth?— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) February 15, 2014

  • metsaholic

    Yes well…good afternoon.

  • Jake Jones

    You kind of deserved that. Its not right to make assumptions and accusations. Hopefully next time you dont do that. If you give respect you will get respect Lets go Mets

  • SRT

    Still too early for me to make any kind of prediction. I’d like to know what the team looks like on OD. So much can happen in ST (crossing my fingers there are no injuries reporting in.)

  • metsaholic

    Actually Jake, it would have been easy to continue with a more than witty come back. But there is nothing to be gained. My point has been made for all who can read. It says something about my character and your comments say something about yours. Good luck.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I said pick him up and MMO jumped all over me. He’s an easy upgrade over Q. However, we brought back Q before Bonifacio was DFA’d so it’s not as if he knew.

  • Jake Jones

    You are really a nasty individual. I was trying to have a nice conversation with you and you wanted to make accusations. You were very disresectful i will forgive you and hope you get some help. Good Luck

  • Jake Jones

    You were disrespectful toward me but i will forgive that because im a good guy. All i wanted is to talk mets but you clearly didnt. Good Luck

  • Jake Jones

    Getting back to topic How do you think teh Mets will do this year?

  • SRT

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that
    Bonifacio had Major-League offers from other teams, so it appears likely
    that he believes he will make the Cubs out of spring training.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Its a minor league deal Q can be cut after ST…or toil in Vegas

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I think they should have picked him up but I’m not willing to have a heart attack over Sandy not signing a utility player to a minor league deal.

    But, any port in a storm for some I suppose.

  • SRT

    Saw this tweet from Anthony DiComo today:

    Talked to Dave Hudgens, who reiterated #Mets were real close to signing Bobby Abreu before Phils made an offer. That would have been weird.
    ******************************************************

    Point is, none of us have any idea what is really going on behind the scenes – what they tried to accomplish and didn’t. We usually only know what they were able to accomplish.

  • jason bay

    Ike and Duda’s best case is 0.0? Met backup infielders (Flores, Tovar and Satin) is -1.5? Other starting pitchers (including Mejia and deGrom) are -2.5? and other relief pitchers (including Famila and Walters) are at -1.0? Other OFer’s (Puello) -1.0?

    How can this be considered the BEST case scenario?

  • astoriacub

    You’re getting your panties bunched up over Bonifacio? Dude… He’s not a good baseball player. There’s a reason why NO ONE signed him until today.

  • astoriacub

    Jon Neise lost half his season to injury, he didn’t win 20 games and a Cy Young. You weren’t going to get back as much for Neise as Dickey.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I think we could contend for a 2nd wildcard spot if everything goes right.

  • B-Met Fan

    Simon wasn’t suggesting Ike and Duda would have a WAR total of 7. His premise was based on those 5 guys earning a total of 7 and he shared one way it might happen. There could be all kinds of combinations that equal 7 with Ike and/or Duda sharing in the positive WAR total.

  • B-Met Fan

    The team WAR of 36 was the best case scenario. Simon was projecting one way that could happen. Actually, his projections are quite rosy. Lots of things would have to go right for the Mets to have a team WAR that high.

  • Jake Jones

    Agreed. People forget Ike had pretty good years in 2010-12. Tejada hit 290 in 2010. If those 2 bounce back and young and granderson show power like we think they will then the mets are in good shape

  • Just_Da_damaja

    NO !

    lets keep on looking at the past 3 years with rose-colored glasses

    dwindling attendance
    a front office that lies to us on a regular bases
    no sign of jeff wilpon’s influence slowing down
    a MLB roster worse than the one that Sandy inherited

    but we have a great rotation and a top 10 farm system !!!

    even though most of it is filled with players that were already here

    Harvey
    Niese
    Gee
    Mejia

    Montero is borderline as the mets were planning to have him signed anyway ( according to Depo )

  • jason bay

    That 7 was the best case scenario for Wright by himself.

    Duda and Davis best case scenario was 0.0 and the others I pointed out were all negative numbers.

    Now I can understand if Simon was talking about what he thought was likely but he was talking about what he felt was the best case possible and I don’t think that the BEST case possible is a 0.0 WAR from Ike and Duda or negative WAR from those others I mentioned.

  • jason bay

    I choose 81 or more with 85 or more as my 2nd choice.

    71.5 as the u/o is a no brainer.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Yep. We need Ike and Tejada to bounce back. Young and Grandy have to have good years as well. If all of those things happen, we will definitely be in the race.

  • jason bay

    But how he derived it is up for discussion.

    I don’t feel 7 WAR from Wright or 4 WAR from Wheeler is likely but were not talking likely in this article, we’re talking best case.

    Is it your opinion that the best case for Davis and Duda is a 0.0 WAR? Flores, Satin and Tovar a -1.5? Starting pitchers not named in the article (including Mejia and deGrom) will combine for a -2.5? Other relievers (including Familia and Walters) a -1.0? Other OFer’s (like Puello) a -1.0?

    I do not see those as the best case scenario and that is what I was responding to. Wright and Wheeler are higher to me than the best reasonable case scenario but whatever……the article states best case and I disagree that the best case is replacement level for Davis and Duda and below that for the others I mentioned but playing time will clearly come into the situation. If the Mets have to play a lot of MDD, Kirk, Brown in the OF then I could see it but again we are talking best case so that wouldn’t apply.

  • Jake Jones

    i wish more fans felt this way.

  • Jack

    Im serious though. The Jays really wanted Niese and would have given a lot for him because he is a lefty and his team friendly contract. You wouldnt have gotten as much as dickey but it would be really close. Mets wanted to keep Niese because he was much younger than Dickey.

  • metFAN660

    Come on, Leroy. There are plenty of kvetch-fest threads on this site. Stick with those to spread your cheer. 🙂

  • BronxMets

    that is if you believe WAR is a useful stat……….

  • BronxMets

    Dreaming did you forget about Pittsburgh Cincy and ST Louis?

  • BronxMets

    yeh cause if we felt that way it would happen….

  • njmetfan

    Does he even play SS?

  • Jake Jones

    ZZZZZZZZZ

  • KennyandtheMets

    I lost my rise-colored glasses when the Mets lost the NLCS in 2006

  • sperry

    Seriously. Why in the world would fans not want that?

    Unfortunately we live in a reality where Tejada, Duda, EYJ, and Ike just aren’t very good, consistent baseball players. Better you accept that now instead of dreaming of literally everything going right.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    Rose-colored glasses are overrated anyway.

  • CJM

    71.5 is absolutely free money. I’m betting the rent on the over.

  • jason bay

    Me too.

  • The Mets have stricken me of any hope for anything grand. I’m just glad baseball is almost back, because even bad Mets baseball is still baseball. I got us winning 75-80 games.

  • Jake Jones

    The Reality is our fans suck donkeys

  • Andrew Herbst

    I’m trying to stay optimistic.

  • Andrew Herbst

    No, I took them into consideration. I still think we could challenge those teams if everyone stays healthy.

  • BronxMets

    Not a chance………

  • Jake Jones

    mets are better than last year. Losing Harvey was a blow but i think we have more depth in pitching with mejia/montero/dicek. Also i expect Travis Darnaud to be much more comfortable and heathy. Also David wright missed a good chunk of the year last year so taht will help having him play a full season.

  • Mickey Jennifer Wind

    Montero will end up being a reliever. I think the moves being made verify the Mets belief in this too. He is likely the 7th option this year and 8th next year. The Montero pundits are going to have to live with it. I just hope he ends up being a good middle reliever. On that note, i think they will have a very good pen this year as many of these young, live arms start coming out of there,

    I bet C Young and Granderson do have bounce back years and I think both will be good for them.

    I just do not think Tejada is a major league regular. He can hit .280, but his lack of speed and power means it takes so much extra work to get him home. I think he ends up hitting .245 and is ok 8th hitter, but his arm is weak to me and I do not like him in the field.

    I just don’t care about Davis or Duda. Either way, you are not getting a star. Just hope 1B ends up being serviceable. I do not think either is a long term answer.

  • Mickey Jennifer Wind

    Pirates are going to suck. They let their entire team walk.

  • Hodges14

    I think there’s a couple of things with the Mets rotation. First I wonder how they would look if they didn’t get to play half their games in Citi Field. Second there is no bulldog, workhorse on the staff. It looked like maybe Harvey could be that guy (and maybe he will eventually) but from what I see we have a bunch of guys that are going to give us 160 innings each. The best chances to exceed that are Gee and Wheeler but I’d say 200 is the ceiling on both of them. This seems to be a recipe for disaster for any bullpen.

  • Jack

    I dont know why people are so down on the mets. These fans and baseball fans are focused on the past rather than focusing on how the mets now have a top 10 farm system with tons of fantastic pitching prospects coming. Great pitching usually always beats great hitting.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    i wonder how they would look if they had a half way decent defensive infield…and just some consistency…

    the team is constantly in flux but u don’t want to add that into ur calculator..

    5 different starting catchers since 2011

    Thole
    Paulino
    Nikeaus
    Buck
    now Travis

    a decline in defense at key up the middle positions in SS and 2B

    Put Niese or Gee on a better team and they are 18 game winners

    Put Colon on the 2013 mets and he’s 10-9 with a 3.90 ERA

  • MetsAussieNation

    I respectfully disagree here Mickey. Montero has too much value as a starter and will either be starting on the mets or starting somewhere else. He has shown strong durability, fantastic numbers the last couple years, and no major injuries. Meijia has a better probability of becoming a full time reliever, but no way on montero

  • BronxMets

    you are 100% correct about Montero.

  • B-Met Fan

    The best case scenario is for the team as a whole. He knows Ike and Duda are surrounded by uncertainty so he simply didn’t go there. But, for Simon, it would be the same if Ike ended up with a 2- WAR and Granderson only gets a 2 and Chris young a 1.5. It’s the combination of the numbers he built his best-case scenario around and then showed you a logical, but not the only, was it could happen.

  • BronxMets

    your collective outfield is going to hit a healthy .245 as much as your SS and first baseman. You got 5 guys in the lineup that cant hit and a catcher we don’t know about yet. Possibly 6 guys that cant hit. The only one you could say may hit a little is Grandy.

  • B-Met Fan

    No, I’m not sure where I would place Ike and Lucas. I have this gut feeling Ike is going to have a big bounce back year with 25+ HR’s. That would elevate his WAR. I agree with you a WAR of 7 for David Wright is asking a lot, the same as a 4 for Wheeler, but I liked Simon’s thinking, it gets you considering the possibility of an upside rather than just focusing on doom and gloom.

  • BronxMets

    you have an outfield that is going to collectively hit .245….a SS and a first baseman that you’d be happy if they hit that and a catcher we are not sure about………..this is a 70 win team right now.

  • BronxMets

    this is a 70 win team right now.

  • Hotstreak

    Which is more likely or How Rose colored are your glasses:

    Mets win 71 games or 90 games (2nd w/c)

    DW hits.285 20 Hrs 90 RBI’s or .330 , 33 Hrs. 110 RBI’s

    Colon Niese and Wheeler win 40 games combined or 55 games combined.

    Parnell or closer has 26 saves or 40 saves

    Tda has 440 Slg. Pct 320 OBP or .500 Slg. pct. and 350 OBP

    IB and SS are below average production or average production

    Granderson hits 26 hrs or 35 hrs.

    EY Jr. OBP is .330 or less or .350 or more

    TC is fired during the season or is in top three consideration for Manager of the Year.

  • jason bay

    I agree with you about that. My feeling is Duda and Satin combine for league average performance at 1B but regardless 1B will be better than 0.0 and so will Other starting pitchers,” “other relievers” and possibly “other OFer’s.”

    The key to that though is how many of them you have to go through. If we have to play too many of Kirk, Duda in the OF, Q, Gorski or Kolerak and Leathersich it could get dicey but again that’s not the est case scenario.

  • Mickey Jennifer Wind

    I agree the Mets are better. A) Pitching is deeper this year. B) Granderson and C Young with Wright mean you have over 70-75 Hr already. The Mets should score more runs, simply as a result of the power. The Mets as a team will hit over 150 HR, which is a minimum of 20 more and I would not be that surprised if the number is 10 or 15 more than that with anything out of the 1B and TDA. The Mets will score closer to 680 runs a 70 run addition. I am still not sure how many additional wins this gets. But, i am hoping to closer to 80-82. Still not a contender, but an annoying team to play against.

  • Mickey Jennifer Wind

    with the exception of Satin, there is no evidence yet Flores or Tovar will do anything. Familia sucks, Puello is going to suck. I do not think Familia will even come close to making this team.

  • igotadose

    Minuses: Harvey, Byrd, Buck, bunch of lamer bullpeners and every starter save Gee on the DL or short season (Wheeler). Unproven closer
    Pluses: Colon, Granderson, full season from EYJ, Lagares, Wheeler, TdA. Reshuffled bullpen that might be better or might not.

    My guess (rose colored glasses): Slightly better than last year, let’s push 79 wins. No meaningful games after mid-September except as spoilers.

    Sorry, but Captain America’s a year older, Granderson has had health issues, and the starting rotation isn’t fearsome, it’s serviceable. It’s not the Tigers. Probably not as solid as the Nationals.

  • BarnRat

    Yeah, I’m with you on the farm, and as we all know it’s heavily reliant on the pitching. But to use Harvey as an example, if you have to have a 2.27 ERA to go 13-13 in games you start, the team has some serious scoring issues

  • Hotstreak

    Please take my test. How many first options did you agree with?

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Hey, all that’s true. Doesn’t mean people aren’t allowed to be optimistic.

    And not that you want to admit it, but Sandy did bring in nine of the top 10 prospects in our system.

  • Macdaddy

    Jack…I think the terminology you are looking foris guarded optimism trending towards a serious dose of reality…but I don’t think that Mets Nation is down on the team. This thing we are bearing witness to is what we call a process…and the challenge for all who are taking note of this process is that we have seen similar hopeful pursuits that then are discarded to the waste heap we call…”wait till next year”, My concern and guarded nature is entirely framed around the Wilpon’s and their willingness and commitment to actually follow the course and keep developing the farm system, adding key talent to that farm system through the draft and trades…and not being foolish and pursuing FA’s that will inevitably under perform on their contracts. I am also hopeful that the team invests in coaches, instructors, trainers and a scouting system that becomes second to none…whereby the culture and attitude of the entire organization is changed. In a nutshell…make the team name synonymous with being a model organization and perennial contender. That is obviously asking a great deal, but in all fairness it shouldn’t be but as we all know the ownership is and shall be the lone reason for the decades of mediocrity…for the only common thread throughout that time frame has been the owners. This is all about leadership…

  • jason bay

    Wow that’s optimistic Mickey,

    Flores will hit, Tovar will defend SS if he;s called upon, Familia will be a decent to good reliever and Puello is a complete wild card.

  • jason bay

    That is as well said as it gets.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I think that Lagares will hit better than expected. And CY could surprise us.

  • BronxMets

    well that’s hopefull thinking…………..Id love it.

  • DrDooby

    Hotstreak, I´d generally take the “under” – but this is the difference between 81 wins and 96 wins and not between 71 and 90.
    Basically all your “lower” totals are higher than the 2013 production.
    No Mets 3 SP combo combined for even 30 wins – let alone 40 in 2013.
    Parnell had fewer than 26 SV.
    TDA would finish with about .100 points of extra OPS as Buck did in 2013 with your base projection.
    Granderson hitting 26 HR means Byrd has been replaced.
    Wright at 90 RBI means that he has probably been healthy.
    EY jr. having a .330 OPS would make him playable and better than in 2013.
    SS being below average, say 22nd out of 30 teams, would be much better than worst in Baseball.
    And since you didn´t write that Rick Ankiel, Jordany Valdespin, Collin Cowgil, Mike Baxter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis were getting 500+ PA of sub .600 OPSing or that Shawn Marcum & Jeremy Hefner are taking over more than a fulltime rotation slot. pretty much your lower scale projection is a massive improvement over 2013 and should give the Mets a .500+ season. Maybe better if another young arm like Mejia or Montero, plus a couple of young bullpen arms step up.
    It´s a team effort and 25+ players that will determine the Mets fate in 2014. The talent base on the 25-man roster figures to be better generally than it was last season. And the depth & quality on the 40-man roster is much improved as well. In case of injury or underperformance there are various options at most positions. And other than SS, this team doesn´t have any serious flaws. Sure, question marks all over the place. But that´s true for most other teams.
    A .500 season is VERY REALISTIC for this team. Another 74 win season would be a massive disappointment, indicating that the young talent has struggled mightily while veterans have generally failed to perform and SS and 1b remain among the worst in the majors.
    An 88 win season is about as likely as a 74-win season and would take veterans staying on the field and kids stepping up in a big way.

  • DrDooby

    How do you see a team with easily the worst production in Baseball at SS, close to the worst at 1b and that also gave 500+ PA to Mike Baxter, Rick Ankiel, Collin Cowgill, Jordany Valdespin and Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the OF rotation while sporting a generally mediocre rotation except for the 26 Matt Harvey starts and a below average bullpen getting worse ? By the way, overall, the 2013 Mets outfield hit below .245 combined, so that´d actually be an improvement.
    Sure, if Travis d´Arnaud breaks his leg & misses the season, Zack Wheeler & Jennry Mejia spend more time with Dr. Altchek and Dr. Andrews than on the mound, Bartolo Colon makes fewer starts than he had wins last year, David Wright & Curtis Granderson both miss 50+ games each while all the young bullpen arms fail and Dice K & Lannan lead the staff in GS, then yes, this team wins 70 games or even less. But other than a 2009 scenario repeating, this is an improved team, likely to be about .500 even without any rosy glasses on and more upside to do better due to young talent & depth.
    If you want to know about the upside for this team, check out the Oakland A´s roster entering the 2012 season and what they were projected to win back then….

  • Hotstreak

    Yes a .500 win team projection. I come up with 80 wins no matter which way you slice it IF all my minimums come true. If ALL of the minimums was indeed reached they would be just about a .500 team. If just one of the minimums does NOT come true they are at least six games under .500 or 78-84. I personally would have the under over at 78 wins. That means it is the most probable. I get 80 wins based on the youth coming together if given a chance to play. So yeah on the under over Met fans like us here at MMO know we are better than Vegas thinks. We are better by 5 to 8 wins. Maybe as much as 10 wins. But going to 85 wins or better we have to get into the rose colored glasses territory. DrDooby thanks for the reply.

  • DrDooby

    Thing is, there are several valid backup options in place in case some things do not work out. That may be the biggest difference between 2014 and previous seasons.
    If neither of Duda nor Ike does alright at 1b, Murphy gets injured at 2b or even Wright misses time at 3b, there is a very valid replacement pretty much ready in Wilmer Flores. And while the jury remains out for Flores’ ultimate ceiling, odds are that he’ll be better than the likely in-house replacement in past seasons at those positions, the funny but flawed Justin Turner.

    In the rotation, the Mets had virtually no depth in previous years if one of the main five SP got injured, especially earlier in the season. This year, there are several extra options that are either promising or playable. And even if one of the frontline SP breaks down, you can replace him with an arm of similar upside from the farm and don’t have to count on the Aaron Laffeys, Chris Schwindens, Miguel Batistas or Pat Mischs of the world.
    Heck, even the scrap heap backup options Dice K & Lannan have pitched at the front of rotations in the past. And both are more insurance policies than anything else.

    In the bullpen, there’s a plethora of young power arms competing for a couple of spots. Again, no specific individual is the key to success but rather the entire group of options producing a couple of legit power relievers. Instead of hoping to go 2 for 3, we are now hoping to go 2 for 7.

    Overall, a realistic outlook has this team somewhere in the 78 to 84 win range with normal luck, normal health and normal progression / regression. That’s a .500 season give or take.

    Serious contention seems unlikely at this point, barring for major breakouts on the pitching staff like Wheeler or Mejia turning into true frontline SP, say Matt Cain and Johnny Cueto for example. While that projects to be the formular going forward, without Harvey, without mostly Syndergaard and all sorts of IP restrictions likely to remain in place, an 87 to 92 win season that puts the Mets into the middle of the race seems rather unlikely though not impossible either. Just like there’s a stagnation & collapse scenario with the win total back in the 70 to 75 range again.

  • Hotstreak

    Yes we have a fair chance for .500 and virtually NO chance to contend. Joe D. is correct this is another transition year. Well Colon and Grandy are a big part of .500 which Seaver said is mediocrity.

    Think of this you just found out Gandy and Colon were signed in offseason by the same team. Would you guess the Mets or Cardinals. Texas Rangers or Mets. Reds or Mets. The Mets would be one of the last teams you would think since they are rebuilding.

    DrDooby I forgot the Mets are neither rebuilding or contending. FO is happy with mediocre to cut losses. What is sad a lot of Met fans posting here are happy with mediocre or are wearing rose colored glasses. We did not even establish ourselves as mediocre yet. Las Vegas thinks we still SUCK.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I like to try to stay positive.

  • DrDooby

    Why would the FO be ” happy with mediocrity” ???
    They want to win as much as you & I do. Just like the Wilpon / Katz family is very eager to win as well for sure.

    Winning in NY is far more lucrative than being at .500 or worse team. In fact, a 125 million payroll Mets team that wins 90 games is going to make far more money than an 80 win team with a 90 million payroll.

    This ownership group lost a fortune of money with Bernie Madoff’s accounts evaporating, regardless of whether it was actual or fake money they lost. Sporting a winning team with a modest payroll for today’s standard is the best way to achieve that goal.

    This front office is faced with the task of creating a financially sustainable winning team. And a gradual organic building is far less risky than trying to force matters.

  • BronxMets

    young talent and depth?????? where? NO SS No 1B Ill give you one outfielder that can hit….

  • BronxMets

    why? then why don’t we just all say everyone is going to hit .300……..whats the point of a blog then?

  • BronxMets

    CY wouldn’t be a surprise it would be a shock.

  • DrDooby

    Look around the majors. The 1990s are over. The game has been gravitating towards pitching & defense.
    As I stated, the Mets have problems at SS.

    But their 1b production should be close to league average under normal circumstances and at least 2 of the 3 outfielders should provide close to league average offense or better (in Granderson’s case) with the 3rd either provding plus defense or plus speed to go with probably below average offense.

    Again, we are worried that Wilmer Flores and Juan Lagares won’t receive enough playing time that Jennry Mejia has to work for his spot in the rotation or that we won’t have space in the rotation for Rafael Montero. Those are good “problems” to have.

    Again, I’d feel a lot more comfortable with a Drew / Tejada combo at SS than Tejada / Quintanilla.

    But for veteran players, the best idea is usually to expect career average production unless there’s a specific tool that has been lost or gained in the meantime. And overall, the Mets – collectively – are far more likely to improve than regress in that regard from 2013 to 2014.

  • BronxMets

    good luck with that.

  • Hotstreak

    What is the best way to use FA.

    1 . Like SA did with Byrd last year to ultimately rebuild.
    2. To be respectable while rebuilding with Wright, Grandy and Colon as SA did.
    3. To appease the fans as Steve Phillips did.
    4. To get over the top as Omar tried to do.

    Only No. 3 appears absolutely wrong. But we got to the 2000 WS.

    What is the best way to rebulid:
    1. Like the pirates and KC.
    2. Like Miami.
    3. Like the Cubs
    4. Like Houston.
    5. Like Detroit did after almost losing more than the Mets in 1962.
    6. Like Boston did last year.
    7. Like the Dodgers did last year.
    8. Lilke the Mets are doing veterans and prospects. Hoping timing of veteran shelf life and prospects development at ML level are in sync.

  • Hotstreak

    Development did not work with any player not named Wright or Reyes. Harvey accomplished what he did because he is Harvey. Murphy because he is Murphy. Bad draft picks due to slot limitations and bad development is the reason plus bad FA except Beltran. Trades very good, bad and ugly.

  • Macdaddy

    Thanks JB…these discussions are paradoxical, whereby we all know what is the core issue, yet essentially have darn little confidence that the people who are the issue will recognize their limitations and change course for the better. Leadership is an easily used word, term or axiom that can imply that with such you will inevitably advance to a better place. Unfortunately, having a vocabulary or lexicon of such words or sentiments does not means you are what you profess or have the ability to produce the results you want.
    Many moons ago, while having the privilege to be chatting with Lee and Bill MacPhail, I posed the following question to both of them. What is worse knowing you are a leader and never getting the opportunity to lead or being cast in the role of a leader and not having the ability to lead? What I found interesting was how they looked at the question and really took a pause to mull the notion over at considerable length. Ultimately they didn’t have a good answer but agreed that you can see situations where people are cast in such roles/situations and the results/outcomes would leave you with very mixed feelings. In the end they said that leadership is a combination of attributes that ultimately requires an individual to ask a couple of simple questions while having the confidence to ask the questions and willingness to listen to the responses…and this is the question they provided…”What is it that I don’t know or can’t see…and then how do I gain clarity and eliminate my blindness.” I am certain that the individuals who have the ear of the Wilpon’s will never raise such talking points, nor do the Wilpon’s read any of these blogs…but maybe they should or at the very least someone should have the stones to tell them that they are truly the issue.

  • Macdaddy

    Agreed…as we all know a MLB season is a marathon and thus you need support and depth in all areas. Yes pitching is critical and much like a hockey team that gets a hot goalie during a cup run and wins…the same can be said for having a couple of pitchers who get hot during a PO run that allows you to set up your rotation and win a WS. However, no one players is able to stay hot and infallible for an entire season…thus you need the cumulative aspects of TEAM versus just a facet of TEAM. Which is why your point about ERA and W/L records draws such a stark contrast. Good observation BR.

  • DrDooby

    Each rebuilding is different and depends on the situation. Sure, being terrible for several years like the Nationals & Astros eventually figures to get you enough high end early 1st round picks with star potential. However, it’s not always possible, especially if you don’t have the financial backbone to pull it off and accept the consequences of multiple 100+ loss seasons.

    As it is, the Mets have basically added Top 5 overall caliber talent by trading Beltran and Dickey for 3 high end prospects with similar prospect status & ceilings as your typical Top 5 June draft overall prospect in Wheeler, d’ Arnaud and Syndergaard.

    Signing Granderson, Colon and to a lesser degree CY signals the start of the next step, i.e. returning to competing & respectability again. I for one do not expect any trades for prospects (unless it’s from surplus like Davis or Duda) but instead the Mets starting to trade prospects for players again soon.

    Overall, the entire rebuilding process has been just fine, except for Alderson not being truthful about it and failing to either keep Jose Reyes or getting another big prospect for him. You can sure argue with draft decisions or whether the right prospects were acquired in trades. But the process itself has been mostly sound.

  • Macdaddy

    I always like to use the following expression regarding success and how to obtain it…”there are a lot of ways to get to Central Park…but depending on how quickly you want to get there will dictate your path and means of travel.” Ultimately for this discussion this is less about getting to the park and more about finding a consistent path and one that limits the potential of failure in getting to the park…and maybe more important in this whole metaphorical and philosophical point being raised by me…is what do you want to do once you get to the park and are you in condition or state of mind to then maximize your time at the park? Yeah I know…way too esoteric…but hell that is the insanity that runs through my head.

  • Macdaddy

    Understand your point Hot to trot…hahaha…ok a bit to cute. Anyway, this is about culture and you are correct that talent, like water in the toilet, will seek it’s own level. However, when you look at the concept of model organizations they invest in the concept of culture and then seek out individuals that will adhere to that standard of excellence. This is why you find organizations that will maximize the abilities and talents of players at all skill/ability levels. Yes the players have to play and do their job on the field but this is about the developmental process and how a team like the Mets builds and nurtures the concept of winning and what it takes to be a winner. If you don’t seed that concept in the minor league levels it becomes very difficult to germinate such at the MLB level. Look no further than the flawed campaigns of the Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays and Dodgers who have abandoned the build from within and have thrown caution to the wind and spent heavily in FA and traded away their talent. Have any of those folks won a WS in recent memory (yes you can suggest the 2009 Yankees…but realize you are still talking about the core nucleus of Jeter, Posada, Mo, Pettitte…and the development of farm system players like Cano, Gardner, Duncan, Cabrera, Hughes, Kennedy, Chamberlin…and then infill with CC, Damon, Matsui, Tex and Swish…at this point there is no nucleus…and they haven’t developed that next generation.

  • BehindTheBag

    We are entering Year 6 of our rebuilding period. Last 5 years have been 70, 79, 77, 74, 74 wins. I think this is the year we start to bounce. I’m predicting 80 wins this year, 88 next year, and 95 plus the NL East title in 2016.

  • Hotstreak

    DrDooby: I respectfully disagree. The timing of Wright, Granderson and Colon is NOW. They are all great on a competing team as parts of the solution to get over the top. We are NOW team and TOMORROW’S dreams may be be NEVER (Generation K). There is no real plan but cut losses due to over leveraging and of course Madoff. Investment with ownership money is not part of the plan. When ownership was and maybe still be in a survival mode then that is the plan. Survive and Hope for the best. However here is where I totally agree with you. Alderson not being truthful has made Met fans not trust him and yes hate him. Even though Alderson has acquired great prospects through trades his accomplishment is marginalized by many including myself. Why. Not being truthful :”What outfield”, “Box of chocolates” etc. If you disrespect the fans don’t expect them to be patient during a forced rebuilding with banks putting a freeze on payroll. Thanks again for the dialogue.

  • Andrew Herbst

    That’s true.

  • jason bay

    You have elevated the level of discussion here Mac and we should all be thankful for that.

    I have always felt that the Wilpon’s:

    A) Were just in over their heads and :

    B) Were concerned with micro managing all the details instead of concentrating on the one and only thing that matters. Building and maintaining a long term year in year out legit threat to win a World Series.

    If that was their only thought when it came to issues like slot guidelines, giving away draft picks, not offering arbitration, selling draft choices, late season salary dumps, re-signing players to long term contracts at age 32-50 the choices made would have been 180 degrees in the opposite direction but they have always thought that they can fix things. Salvage a bad situation and capitalize on it (ie Appier to Vaughn, Rojas to Bonilla, Madoff to Bay) and yet all the short cuts taken in years beforehand have cost them the very thing that would have saved them during this tough times.

    I don’t assume they are bad people or purposely didn’t try to field a winner. I wish them no harm, I just feel that they are minor league owners and as such have the run the Franchise in a way that emphasized maximizing present day earnings at the expense of the one and only thing that would have put them (and us) in good stead for the long haul.

    It really is time for them to realize they are in over their heads and hand the team over to someone who is able to put the long term health and viability of the Franchise above quick returns on investment and short term profits.

    I enjoy your take on Met Matters and hope to read more.

  • Macdaddy

    Your kind words are greatly appreciated. And in similar fashion I appreciate your words and perspectives, and hope to have more insightful discussions with you and others.
    I conclude with this thought…at the end of the day, regardless of the subject matter or discipline we choose to address (sports, family, religion, politics or life) we ultimately come back to the difference between words and actions. In a world where every word is examined, information is shared with blinding speed and truth becomes not a standard but rather an inconvenience that must be word-smithed to accomplish and justify both the means and the end…we are left to ponder what is more important the words or the actions? I believe that actions are what truly matters and that having civil discourse, approached with mutual respect, allows us to advance our discussions beyond just the words to actual actions. In simple terms we are educating a nation to believe that words and opinions are all one needs to advance an objective or agenda…yet the last time I checked the words never jumped off a page and produced a single damn thing without the implementation of human effort and this thing we call work.

  • metFAN660

    Actually, Omar wasn’t rebuilding…he was just sucking. We are going into year four of Alderson’s rebuild. It’s 1983 in Cashen years. ’83 was pretty bad…but you knew really good things were coming soon. 80 wins is a safe bet this year, and next year there will be enough of a buzz that it is a good bet for the end of the “boycott” by some of the more miserable posters on here.